From Dry to Sweet, and Red to White
As reflected by the numerous wine producing regions in Italy, the Wine PocketList contains ratings of Italian wine from virtually every one of the 20 Italian growing regions, including sweet, dry, red, white and sparkling. The Italian wines in our reviews run the full range, equally weighted with $30 Nebbiolo and Barbera and $15 and under Merlot, Dolcetto and Sangiovese. However the high quality of Italian wines is evident in the fact that no wine reviewed (in a recent Wine PocketList search) with a retail price of higher than $16 had ratings lower than an A-. And though the majority of Italian wine in the “bargain” category of under $10 is B+, several A- wine reviews appear here as well.
Primarily a red wine producer (with many wonderful, affordable whites), the main Italian wine growing regions are Piedmont in the northwest (Barolo, Barbaresco), Tuscany in north-central Italy (Chianti, Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino), and Veneto in northeastern Italy, the third largest wine-producing region (Soave, Bardolino, Amarone and Valpolicella). But despite being one of the world’s biggest producers of wine (along with France, they produce two-thirds of the world’s wine), Italy only exports about a quarter of her wine.
Uniquely Italian Wines
Many Italian wines are produced with native grape varieties that aren’t as familiar to the International wine market. Varietals such as Nebbiolo, Vernaccia and Trebbiano are little seen outside Italy (though many of these imported gems can be found on the Wine PocketList!). Other traditional Italian varieties such as Barbera, Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese are now gaining broader awareness and recognition in other countries.
Ranging from the coast the foothills, the variety of soils and climates in Italy’s wine producing regions ensure an incredible range of wines. From Chianti, dry red wines that are usually best five to eight years after the vintage, typically Sangiovese, to the fresh, white Vernaccia, best enjoyed young, (both amply represented in the Wine PocketList) Italian wines offer something for every wine lover.